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The 2017 UPEI Sports Hall of Fames inductees will include, from left, Billy MacMillan, John (Jack) Kane Sr., Jack Kane Jr., Vince Mulligan.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The UPEI Sports Hall of Fame will induct four new members in the new year.
The university announced Tuesday that Jack Kane Sr., his son Jack Kane Jr., Billy MacMillan and Vince Mulligan will join the ranks with the university’s top coaches and players on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Kane Sr., who will be inducted posthumously, was revered as a head coach in the 1940s and 1950s for UPEI’s founding institution, Saint Dunstan’s University.
The younger inductees started playing with the Saint Dunstan Saints and then went on to coach after their playing careers. Kane Jr. coached the Saints from 1965-69, and counted Mulligan and MacMillan on his roster, while Mulligan and MacMillan also both coached the UPEI Panthers.
The induction will be part of the daylong 2017 UPEI Sports Legacy Celebration, which includes a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in McMillan Hall at the W. A. Murphy Student Centre that honours the 2015-2016 U Sports academic all-Canadians.
The four inductees will then formally take their place in Panther history later at the UPEI Sports Hall of Fame gala reception and dinner, which will be held in the sports centre. The reception begins at 6:45 pm with dinner at 7:30 pm.
“This is a great opportunity for all Panthers and Panther fans to recognize and celebrate the achievements of current and past Panthers, show our appreciation to those who support our student-athletes, and showcase many of our varsity teams,” said UPEI director of athletics Chris Huggan.
The legacy celebration is a lead-up for the final regular-season home game for the UPEI men’s hockey team on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at MacLauchlan Arena.
The hall of fame was founded in 2001 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the athletic programs at UPEI, Saint Dunstan's University or Prince of Wales College.
About the inductees
John (Jack) Hurry Kane is remembered with great affection for his coaching style. He would always offer advice, never embarrass anyone and was always the gentleman. After a storied playing career in the Ontario Hockey Association and the Maritime Big Four League with the Charlottetown Abegweits, Kane Sr. was invited to coach Saint Dunstan’s College. In 1947, he led the Saints to the Maritime Intercollegiate League title for the first time, defeating a strong St. FX team in the final. The next year, Saint Dunstan’s won the city league title and was a finalist for the Maritime intercollegiate crown. Kane Sr. gave a tremendous amount of time to minor hockey and baseball and was surely missed as a coach, official and administrator when he passed away after a brief illness at the age of 52 in 1959.
Jack Kane Jr.’s name is, as is his father’s, synonymous with several sports, all of which he played at a high level: hockey, football, track and field, basketball and baseball. He excelled in both hockey and football at Saint Dunstan’s University and later went on to coach the SDU men’s hockey team. Eighteen years after his father coached the team to its first Maritime conference title, Kane Jr. took the Saints on a journey that included a 10-1 season record, the Maritime championship and runner-up status at the national championship. The only loss in league play for the 1965 squad was to St. Thomas University on the final weekend of the regular season. Hockey P.E.I. recognized him with a life membership in 2007 for his contributions to hockey in the province. He has also been involved in the sport of golf as an administrator.
William (Billy) MacMillan has achieved a level of sport success that few other Islanders have. He was a player on several provincial, regional and national championship hockey teams, and is the owner of the coveted Olympic scroll and Stanley Cup ring. After being recruited to play at St. Michael’s College and enjoying a highly successful junior A career, MacMillan returned to Charlottetown to pursue his academic studies, leading the Saint Dunstan’s Saints to the conference title and winning the scoring crown and the MVP award. After participating in four world hockey championships and winning bronze at the 1968 Olympic Winter Games, he was signed to the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring 22 goals in his rookie season. He later was on the coaching staff of several NHL teams before returning home to coach the Panthers, guiding UPEI to its last conference title in 1990-91.
Vince Mulligan was a standout performer in hockey from his earliest years at Queen Square School and throughout his university years at Saint Dunstan’s, where he was both a stalwart and a dependable defenceman and forward. In his five years at SDU, Mulligan was an all-star four times and captain for three of those years. He led the team to a Maritime championship and a national silver medal in the 1964-65 season. Mulligan really made a name for himself as a coach and builder of new programs at UPEI where, in addition to coaching, he served as intramural director, director of recruiting, and intercollegiate co-ordinator. As head coach, he led the UPEI men’s hockey team to three AUAA conference titles, in 1985-86, 1987-88 and 1988-89. To this day, he continues to serve as coach to the Charlottetown Hockey Mommas, a women’s recreational team that has raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer research.